Auckland, Monday 27 August. Greenpeace today welcomed the extension of the voluntary moratorium as a first step towards a genetic engineering (GE) free policy for New Zealand.
“The next step that this government needs to commit to is banning all releases of GE into the environment. The majority of the New Zealand public are waiting eagerly for the government’s GE free policy statement later this year,” said Annette Cotter, Greenpeace GE campaigner.
“The only responsible policy from this government would be to ensure that all releases of GE into the environment are banned and the technology is restricted to the lab. This would include all field trials, as any release is irreversible.
“The voluntary moratorium offers a stop-gap measure to protect the environment – the government needs to show its commitment to the clean and green image of New Zealand and make the moratorium into a legally binding permanent ban,” said Ms Cotter.
“The economics are clear – New Zealand will benefit by being GE free. The Royal Commission on Genetic Engineering states that there is considerable concern with the release of GE into the environment. The public is saying yes, tangata whenua are saying yes, farmers are saying yes, now it is time for the government to say yes to a GE free NZ,” said Ms Cotter.